Uttar Pradesh to asses Muslims' condition through survey

Lucknow, Jan 3 : Uttar Pradesh will soon conduct a survey to asses the living standards and necessities of Muslims in the state, an official said Friday.

The survey by the minority welfare department, under the multi-sectoral development programme (MSDP), would be conducted in villages and towns followed by a developmental package to pep up infrastructure, an official told IANS.

The survey would cover 144 minority-dominated blocks.

Under MSDP - a central government programme - the infrastructure would be improved through Indira Awaas Yojna, opening of schools, Aanganwadi centres and health centres, laying of drains and roads and providing for potable water.

The government has released Rs.3.5 lakh for the survey and the surveying agency would be chosen through bidding, Principal Secretary (Minority Welfare) Devesh Chaturvedi said.

The value addition to the survey would be the assessment of the education environment for the minorities, and efforts would be taken up to infuse the areas with schools and other necessities, the official added.

While state officials say the survey is "purely an administrative and development oriented exercise", political opponents of the Samajwadi Party allege this to be another "minority appeasement effort".

"This government has lost the plot and is making its last ditch attempt to win the favour of Muslims which it has sadly lost," BJP state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said. The timing of the survey was also political, he added.

After the Muzaffarnagar riots in September, the Akhilesh government has been under fire by minority groups and organisations.

The state government has unleashed a slew of schemes to win minority votes.

--IANS (Posted on 03-01-2014)

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